Campsite at mile 109. River and Länna start making breakfast at 6:00am. Full moon is just setting and gives a great view of the sky.
Beautiful day to paddle into New Orleans... sunny blue sky with big white clouds giving shade and and there. Unusually low traffic in the this area today...not a lot of big freighters passing us. We did pass a container ship wharf.... so, we’ll start seeing these more often. They are huge ships and can give 10-12 waves.
Surprising to me... are the Tug boats... they are fast and give off huge waves.
Paddling into New Orleans (my first time) was cool to see all the spots I know... but from the river view.
We land at Algiers Point at 1:00pm and setup the tents and clean the canoes... we all head over to the famous local pub... Old Point Bar. It is literally right over the levee from our campsite. Very friendly people asking about our canoe trip. New friends, Rick and Wayne... said we need to eat at “The Appetite Repair Shop”. It was only three blocks away... so I go off exploring the Algiers community. We have a Pot luck dinner coming up at 5pm with great food... so, I didn’t eat there... but I’ll be back for sure.
Algiers is just as old as New Orleans and it shows with the beautiful house and old growth trees. It was fun walking around the area.
At 5pm friends start showing up with some amazing food. It was close to 20 people that showed up in support of RiverGator! Paddles Up! for y’all. Thank you!
After eating... We all circle up in a friendship ring and introduce who we are.
The moon rises after the suns sets and gives another beautiful sky view for all of us to enjoy.
Today was a great day and we all appreciated the friends of RiverGator.
Layne’s Log: Algiers Point to Will's Point
27 miles paddled today.
59 miles total paddled & 103 miles left.
Today, Layne visits his birth place... Chalmette, La.
Itinerary for today: Algiers Point, Industrial Canal, Algier’s Lock, Poydras Bend, English Turn Bend, Caernarvon Crevasse, Twelve Mile Point, ?Shingle Point, Belle Chasse Ferry, Jesuit Bend, Will’s Point (campsite)?
Woke up and left my tent at 5:50am and the river was thick with fog. By the time we left, the fog cleared... but it didn’t help dry our tents. So, when we stopped for lunch... we laid out our wet tents to dry.
Today we had a lot of traffic around us. Big container ships, freighters, oil tankers and Navy Ships. Some of y’all asked... how do you paddle in a canoe around those big ships? It takes a keen eye to judge move to and direction from ships miles away from you. Other tricks are to watch where the upstreamers go (left or right bank)... which is the slow current. So, we want to be on the other side... because that’s the fast current. And next upstreamer you see will probably follow that other one. But not always a “fact” in heavy traffic and the river changes.
Another thing to judge is parked ships. There was two sections that had 7-8 ships parked down 3 miles. And you have to judge if one of those parked is actually moving.
It’s was pretty warm today with some full sun moments... so to cool off while we’re in the middle of the river... we just jump off the canoe into the river and drift. It’s so refreshing and then we climb back in the canoe... feeling much better.
We had kind of s funny moment... next to a parked container ship was a parked barge with two big cranes on it. We were going to split it... because an upstreamer freighter was coming on the other side. As we got within 100 yards ... John says “that guy is moving!” And instantly he blows his horn once at us (one blast meaning warning. 5 blast means danger life threatening).
We moved out of his with no problem... but we mistook his really slow upstream speed for parked. I was taking picture as this was going on... so, I got a nice picture before I dropped the camera and got the heck out of his way.
Military jets are flying all around us... they are crazy loud out there on the water.
We then pass by Chalmette, LA... my birth place. I was born by the river and my parents moved to Vicksburg by the river. My Dad Louis H Logue worked at the Corps of Engineers for +30 years on the river. It’s always been a part of our/my life and I am so blessed being able to enjoy its beauty.
We’re almost to our campsite for the night at Wills Point (mile 68)... when we spot a huge gator sunning on the sand. He was 10-12 ft and not worried about us at all.
Our campsite was 1/2 mile down... and there are ponds/lakes all over here... so, we are in gator territory for sure right now.
We paddled hard today to make tomorrow less of a hard paddle... so, we landed with 69 minutes till sunset. We pulled up the canoes (because of the huge waves the ships and tugs make) and ran off to setup our tents. Most like setting up their tents way away from each other. I’m the farthest upstream and ... actually closest to that big gator. Ha. But I’m not worried... he’s not going to bother me.
River and Länna cook up another great meal... so kind of vegetable curry with mozzarella and bread. And clean up dishes and off to our tents. The mosquitoes are THICK up in here. You unzip your tent zipper... dive in... and zip up fast. Hehe. And then I get my headlamp on mosquito patrol (to see if any made it inside). All clear for tonight.
Also, note... because I Wi-Fi load my camera pictures to my iPhone ... it reduces the high resolution picture. So, after I get back... I’ll make an Album .
Full moon tonight and it came up a little bit ago... but I’m not going out there to fight the mosquitoes.
Layne’s Log: Will's Point to Bohemia Beach
24 miles paddled today.
83 miles total paddled & 103 miles left.
Big ships, Big waves, Gators, Eagles and Osprey Hawks.
Fresh cooked apples and oat meal is breakfast. After we finish eating, a 6-7 foot gator drifts by us. And John still dives in the river for his morning swim.
Lots of ships and tug boats kicking off 4-5 foot waves today. They’re easy to ride as they have a large space between the next wave. It’s the short spaced waves that give us problems (yachts and bass boats)... but we see NOBODY out here fishing or playing. It’s all commercial boats & ships.
We pass by several coal companies loading barges. The coal dust is not contained as they drop it into the barges and it gets out there in the river (see picture).
Finally see a bunch of eagles (4) and it was a welcome sight indeed.
We had lunch at Mile 59.3 LDB Break in rock ... sandbar and protection from waves. But watch out for steel cable... it was sticking up and could be a problem.
We land at Bohemia Beach (Lower Mississippi River mile 44.5)... and it’s a fantastic area. Osprey hawks are flying 100’ above us and they are awesome looking.
Wolfe is bring us dinner and we’re just hanging out watching the sun set on this beautiful day.
For those just tuning in:
This Trip is the Rivergator.org Celebratory Trip for the completion of the non-profit free paddlers guide mile by mile on the Mississippi River from St Louis to the Gulf of Mexico (including the Atchafalaya River). That’s over 1,350 miles surveyed and paddled over 6 years. John Ruskey & the Mighty Quapaws during the 6 years... paddled this section at low, medium and high water.... so, they paddled close to 4,000 miles to get this 1 million words of Rivergator.org.
This trip is part 2: north New Orleans (mile 127) to the Gulf of Mexico (mile -12)